DiscFerret update: PCB done!

Philip Pemberton classiccmp at philpem.me.uk
Mon Sep 6 14:05:30 CDT 2010

On 05/09/10 22:31, Jules Richardson wrote:
> Maybe they were a little misleading though if they gave the impression
> that the software to do task x already existed (or if it did exist - but
> only in the sense that someone somewhere had written it, but had no
> plans to release it for everyone else to use). That would be rather sly
> marketing, I think. Of course saying something like "these are the
> features, you *could* do x, y and z with it" might be different. It's
> all in the wording...

I hope I've not given anyone that impression with the DiscFerret...

In simple terms...

   - As sold, a DiscFerret will read floppy discs into timing-format images.

   - Write support is on the cards, I need to port it from the old 
"FDRW1" proof of concept. For the hard-of-thinking, this means it's not 
done yet :)

   - It will read anything you feed to it in Timing mode. Anything 
written by a NEC 765, WesternDigital 177x or 179x or clone in MFM mode 
should also decode to sector data. Decoding of anything else will 
require software to be written.

Documentation is on the TODO list -- including a full Theory of 
Operation for the FPGA logic and microcontroller firmware, and a 
Programmer's Guide which will explain how to talk to the baseline 
firmware and make it do stuff, and how to do the same with DiscAPI.

I want a magic box that'll image MFM/RLL/ESDI hard drives and floppies 
at transition level, so I can play with the data on the computer and do 
data recovery, format analysis, preservation and disc copying.

At the moment, the biggest problem is that the %#$!ing Elektor PCB 
Service just charged my card for 100 Euros, the payment went through and 
the website now says "There was an unknown error with your payment!". 
The 'contact us' link which is SUPPOSED to be there.... isn't. And email 
doesn't work (apparently). So I have a pro-forma invoice, a Receipt 
Number, and a website that insists I haven't paid when I couldn't 
possibly have #2 without having paid first... Ho hum.

classiccmp at philpem.me.uk

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